Las Vegas of the Orient
Macau Travel Guide, facts about Macau

Quick facts


Official Name : Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.


Common Name : Macau (also pronounced Macao).


Area : 28.6 square kilomtres (for comparison: only 2.5% of Hong Kong's size).


Population : Approximately half a million people live in Macau.

Demographics : About 95% of Macau's population is of Chinese descent, the majority of which are Cantonese and Fujianese, as well as some Hakka, Shanghainese and overseas Chinese from Southeast Asia.  The remaining 5% divides between other ethnic groups, such as Europeans (mostly Portuguese), Macanese (a name that is normally used to describe people of mixed, Chinese-Portuguese ancestry) and an increasing number of Filipino and Thai.


Religious : As in Mainland China, The majority of Macau's population (80%) practice a folk version of Buddhism or Taoism.  20% of the population are Christians (mostly Catholic, but there are large communities of Protestants, as well as followers of "alternative Christianity"). Tiny communities of Muslims, Hindis and Bahais are forming less than 1% of the population.


Capital City : Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China and, therefore, its official capital city is Beijing.


Large Cities : Macau peninsula (Ilha de Macau) is the territory's most populated area.

Under Portuguese rule, the territory was divided into two municipalities (namely: Municipality of Macau and Municipality of the Islands) but these were abolished after the handover and today the territory is administrated, as one unit, by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau.


Languages : The official languages of Macau are Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) and Portuguese.  Practically, most of the people speak Cantonese (being descendants of migrants from Guangdong) and in the last few years, with the increase of immigration from other parts of China, Mandarin is also widely spoken.  Most of the people in the tourism industry can speak English, to a certain degree...  


Government : Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China.  In accordance with the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Macau basic law (and much like Hong Kong), Macau enjoys vast autonomy and manages most of its interior affairs.


Head of State (Sovereign) : The president of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Hu Jintao


Governor (Chief Executive) : The Chief Executive, Mr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah, is the head of the government of the Macau SAR.


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